Late last night, the first Beta release of Ubuntu 12.04 was released, signifying the next step on the road to one of the biggest releases of Ubuntu in its history. At the same time, popular derivatives Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu also entered Beta status.
There was also more news on the Kubuntu front, as the announcement was made for LTS plans by the community. Kubuntu recently lost its official funding from Canonical, and has now become solely supported by its community like the other spin-offs.
The Beta includes the first look at HUD, the new menu alternative announced just over a month ago on Mark Shuttleworth’s blog. It can be accessed by tapping Alt, and accesses the menu bar of some programs, as well as functions in the notification bar.
There are other changes in the Beta as well, such as switching to Rhythmbox as the default music player, upgrading LibreOffice to 3.5 Beta 2, and improving support for ClickPad devices.
ISOs for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available from the Canonical download page.